By R. Bourdeix and V. Kumar, December 2017 and 2019.

Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean about 2,000 km northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north. Fiji consists of an archipelago of more than 330 islands—of which 110 are permanently inhabited—and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the total population of about 900,000 in 2019.

Dr Roland Bourdeix first visited Fiji from 29 October to 5 November, and then from 27 November to 10 December 2017. The first week was devoted to the 2017 COGENT steering committee meeting, and the second to the CIDP expertise. Additional visit are to be conducted in February, March and April 2018. The islands of Vanua levu, Viti levu, Kioa and Nananu-i-ra were visited. Visit of the Rotuma island is planned in March.

Past coconut Seed systems

Present coconut Seed system

Coconut nurseries: how farmers can get seednuts?
Polymotu concept start to be applied in Fiji National University (Koronivia)

The activities funded in 2019 by the CIDP project are summarized in the following table.

Creating a new seed garden producing Tall, Hybrids and Compact Dwarfs in Wainigata Research Station
With Ministry of Agriculture
Creating a new seed garden producing a Malayan Dwarf types, Compact Dwarfs and Hybrids between Compacts and Malayan types in Naduruloulou Research Station
With Ministry of Agriculture
Creating a Polymotu unit in the Suva USP campus for public awareness and seednuts production of Tall, Hybrids and Compact Dwarfs
Activity shifted to FNU Campus
Assessing and extending the number of efficiently selected Tall-Type parent palms for seednut production; and creating a comprehensive farmer database.
With the company Copra Millers

Coconut varieties

In the COGENT catalogue conserved germplasm, only two varieties are described with pictures and data coming from the African International Genebank. Many pictures were done and researchers (Tevita Kete and Vijendra Kumar) were trained by R. Bourdeix in 2001; local researchers were supposed to sent to COGENT the finalysed descriptions bu this was never done. Some of the pictures were used the pictures to produce some local posters. A systematic description of all coconut varieties available at the Taveuni coconut collection and in the country remains to be achieved.

One of the amazing Compact Dwarf Varieties
indentified in 2018 in Fiji
Varieties and palms identified during the 2017 survey and before

Other coconut-related topics

Public lecture at USP Lower Campus,  Suva, Monday 26th February at 2pm


Leather, R.I. (1972) Coconut research in Fiji. Fiji Ag. J. 34, 3-9.
Marechal, H. (1928) Observations and preliminary experiments on the coconut with a view to developing improved seednuts for Fiji. Agric. J. Fiji 1, 16-45.
Parham, J.W. (1968) Coconut selection and breeding in Fiji. Oleagineux 23(6) 381.
Satyabalan, K. (1976) Coconut growing in the Fiji islands. Coconut Bull. 7, 1-4.
Vernon, A.J., Emose, P.N. & Mudaliar, T. (1976) Coconut fertilizer yield trials in Fiji 1970-1975. Fiji Ag. J. 38, 49-60.
McPaul, J. W. (1964) Coconut growing in Fiji. Second edition. Bulletin 38, Department of Agriculture, Fiji, 78 p.